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Death Match: A Novel (Child, Lincoln) Hardcover – May 4, 2004

4 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When it comes to merging innovative technology with a bizarre murder mystery, few writers do it better than Child. In Utopia (2002), supercomputers ran roller coasters in a high-tech theme park. Here, a state-of-the-art computer dating system, run by Eden, Incorporated--a Microsoft-size corporation--takes center stage. For a mere $25,000, a single person can find a life partner using Eden's flawless matching system. And it's guaranteed, though not one customer has ever requested a refund. When the match is 100 percent, the lucky pair is dubbed a "supercouple," and the subsequent marriage is the envy of all the world. But when one such supercouple is found dead by double-suicide, Eden quietly hires ex-FBI forensic psychologist Christopher Lash to investigate what led to such a tragic end. Lash can't resist the hefty fee, so he reluctantly puts his own private practice on hold, only to discover that his investigation of the supercouple has awakened ghosts from his own past. A second supercouple double-suicide puts Lash and Eden management in a panic. The unusual subject matter blended within the framework of a typical police procedural results in a fun, twisted psychological ride. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved



“Ultra-entertaining…. Lincoln Child weaves fascinatingly plausible technologies and a frighteningly believable tale.”
Dan Brown, author of THE DA VINCI CODE

“As far as plot, action and suspense are concerned, UTOPIA could hardly be improved upon, but that is only the first of Child’s achievements. His characters are first-rate, as is his writing…. UTOPIA is a sensational piece of popular entertainment. If you’re looking for intelligent fun, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
Washington Post Book World

“A beautifully crafted scare-fest…. UTOPIA’s gadgetry is heaven for techno-thriller fans, and the threats from the sabotaged attractions are startlingly inventive. Here’s hoping for a sequel.”
People Magazine


Product Details

  • Series: Child, Lincoln
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385506708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385506700
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By DanD VINE VOICE on November 6, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Christopher Lash is a psychologist specializing in marital relationships. He previous worked for the FBI, giving him insight into criminal behavior. This is the reason officials at Eden Inc. have contacted him, to investigate the mysterious double-suicide of two of their clients.

Eden is a matchmaker, but unlike any before it. Eden uses a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence to match individuals on every little detail (more than a million criteria). Lewis and Lindsay Thorpe were two such individuals, and were also the company's first "supercouple:" two people who are a 100% match. But now they are dead...and Lash must find out why. Because another supercouple has killed themselves...and there are four more such couples to go. But finding out why two perfect couples would want to kill themselves is only half of Lash's problem, because somebody is messing with his life, in ways that could only be done through the technology available at Eden...

"Death Match" is a top-notch thriller from Lincoln Child, who has brought us (especially in collaboration with Douglas Preston) so many enjoyable, well-planned thrillers. This novel is no exception; though it is a bit predictable, it is still enthralling. The technological details are broken down into layman's terms, but with serious research behind them. Lash is an appealing, conflicted character, as are those he encounters. While "Death Match" may not be Child's best work to-date, it is certainly worth checking out, and a repeated reading or two.
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Format: Hardcover
Eden, Incorporated is a huge corporation that promises to find the perfect love match for each of its applicants. These matches are performed using a powerful artificial intelligence-based computer called Liza. The matches are so accurate and the resulting partnerships so idyllic that not a single client has ever claimed a refund from the money-back guarantee. When two of Eden's "perfect match" couples are found dead of double-suicide, a former FBI forensic psychologist, Christopher Lash, is brought in to investigate whether Eden has failed to predict a psychological instability when it performed its thorough personality testing of each applicant. Lash finds nothing in the psychological profiles of the four suicides and he suspects foul play. Could this be homicide made to look like suicide, and if so, why? Could it be a disgruntled former Eden employee? Or could it be a rejected applicant for Eden's services? As Lash is granted complete access to the mysterious workings of Eden, he finds that someone is out to stop him from discovering the perpetrator, and soon Lash finds his reputation and his life in jeopardy.

Having read Child's previous novel "Utopia," I found a lot of similarities between the two books. Both feature a large and highly successful corporation engineered using next-generation computers and incredibly futuristic technology. Both companies are being undermined, and ultimately threatened, by evildoers. In both cases an outsider is brought in to investigate the problem. Both investigators are drawn into the dangers and must race against the clock to save the lives of innocent people, including themselves. Both stories are fast-paced, suspenseful thrillers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed Death Match. For the right amount of money, you can be paired up with the perfect mate for you. No need for blind dates and changing your phone number after going out with a psycho. It's simply to good to be true, and you know what old wise ones tell you about that scenario. There is a group of super couples who match up 100% perfectly, but for reasons unknown, they are comitting suicide. Forensic psychologist Chris Lash is called in by Eden Inc. to determine what is going wrong. What Lash discovers will astound you. Will he be able to save the supercouples that are left?

The characters in this book are real people. There are no super heroes. There are characters you will cheer for and some you will despise. The plot is well thought out and executed nicely. This book was a breath of fresh air. The ending was predictable and a little bit silly, which is why I didn't give it a 5 star rating. Overall, it is well worth your time and attention.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Child's collaborations with Douglas Preston and have generally liked them-some of their stories are among my favorites. I have also read Child's and Preston's solo books and they have never been quite as good as their team efforts. Much like Child's last solo work, Utopia, this book starts with an interesting premise that grips the reader, but it degenerates as the technology is introduced and fails to follow through with an equally compelling ending.
The story begins with the apparent suicide of a couple that were supposedly perfectly matched by the Eden corporation. The main character, a forensic psycologist named Christopher Lash, is brought in to determine why this happened. Then a second perfectly matched couple commits double-suicide and the intrigue builds. At this point, Lash is exposed to the highly secretive operations of Eden and their extensive matching process and this is where the story begins to lose credibility.

The matching process accumulates a massive amount of data that are analyzed by a super computer named Liza. We are told that Liza is based on artificial intelligence concepts and is actually self-aware and can learn. We are supposed to believe that Liza is by far the the most powerful and advanced computer in the world and yet it is owned by a private company and used primarily as a matchmaker? We are told that some of the early funding to build Liza came from the government and that Liza does contracting work for various Federal agencies, but the fact that Liza is not under government control is too unbelievable.
Another ridiculous aspect of Liza is her construction. She is cobbled together with computers dating back to the 1960's!
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